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pened the secondhand bookshopMushi Bunkoin 1994.


"Dad's Food Stock"

Dad's Food Stock
Butterbur tsukudani (food boiled in soy sauce and sweet sake) was also my father's favorite.
Dad's Food Stock

Three months is about to go by since my father, who loved to shop, passed away. Stored food that he purchased at bargain prices at supermarkets is gradually disappearing from our refrigerator and pantry. The other day, it was a bottle of pickles. Prior to that was basil salad dressing preceded by dried strips of radish and ofu (Japanese croutons). My mother and I tend to avoid sales and days that attract more people than usual to stores, so we naturally go buy what we need one at a time.

If there was extra product already stashed at home, we never purchased another no matter how cheap it was sold. Therefore, my father's food stock kept disappearing. "This, this, and that." I would occasionally look into the refrigerator to check what remained, but since they were not worth saving, we kept consuming them without giving it much thought.

Then one day, the frozen jako (dried small fish),which I secretly identified as"the last of Dad's food,"appeared on our table. It was the beginning of spring and jako were blended in steamed rice along with rapeseed leaves. This seasoned rice is a delicacy. I served them into my bowl and finished my meal in a rather quiet manner.

Several days later, my mother, who was going through the kitchen cabinet, pointed her finger and said, "Oh, I found another one here." She was pointing at seven boxes of hot curry roux. Curry was rarely served at our house so it must have been sold at a real bargain price. That was the way my father shopped."I thought the jako was the last."Her face seemed a little happy as she spoke to herself. Why, she must have felt the same way I did. I think as I speak out,"Hmmm. What should we do with them? We don't eat curry."My face also looked a little happy.